Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

David Donahue

Second Advisor

Monisha Bajaj

Third Advisor

Susan Katz


Over the past decade, queer and trans advocacy has garnered increased attention in political, popular, and educational debates. The current prevailing models to explain and justify gender and sexual difference rely on understandings of selfhood that were developed in colonial, clinical, U.S., white, and middle-class cultural contexts. The cultural particularity of these most-accessible models has produced marginalization of queer and trans students and educators who have different understandings of gender and sexual difference. Queer-decolonial educators are individuals who are critical of colonial, Western understandings of gender, sexuality, and difference more broadly. These educators often work within contexts that do not allow them to draw explicitly upon the ways that personal experience, cultural legacy, and politicization shape pedagogy, which often limits abilities to connect with youth and students; conversely, these educators also often work outside of formal educational contexts, and thus, pedagogical approaches to teaching differences of gender and sexuality are often not well-documented nor institutionalized. Queer-decolonial educators work to understand the ways that diverse communities are receptive of, and resistant to, particular narratives of gender and sexual difference, often looking to legacies of legal, colonial, clinical, and social violence around gender and sexuality. The methodology and methods used for this study include community-accountable research and qualitative interviews inspired by queer-of-color and Indigenous feminisms. In-depth interviews were undertaken with six queer-decolonial educators who historicized and theorized life experiences, elaborating themes of movement across contexts, familiarity with violence, refusals of homogeneity, and responsibility to legacy, as well as pedagogical efforts towards multimodality and intersectionality. These six educators also described the importance of addressing queerphobia, transphobia, and decoloniality simultaneously in the interests of refusing the production gender and sexual normativity, and placed such refusals within critiques of racism, xenophobia, and settler colonialism, each crediting Indigenous epistemologies or life practices as foundational to remaking just worlds.